Gadgets and electronic devices are more reliable than ever but there are a few questions you should ask if you want to keep them working longer and harder. One of the common questions many people ask is “how many times per day should I charge my phone?” While the answer can vary, the short answer is that you can charge two or three times per day without degrading the battery.
Sometimes it’s actually more efficient to charge your phone multiple times per day because you’ll avoid battery degradation when your battery falls under twenty percent. If you can manage it, charging your phone’s battery when it’s low is the best way to go. That said, there are some exceptions and other guidelines to follow when you charge your phone to ensure it lasts for the duration of its lifespan without issue or much downtime.
Charging Your Phone to Maximize Battery Life
Batteries and phones are made to last a long time; today’s phones and their batteries will live for about three years and three hundred to five hundred charges before degrading. Even after this degradation occurs, your phone’s battery life will still be solid, although not exceptional. After the initial degradation, your phone’s battery life will be sapped about twenty percent, but it should still last through most of the day if you’re not using it constantly and frequently.
Many people think they should only charge their phone when it drops below five percent or so, but this is actually bad for your battery. Rather than waiting of your phone to drop all the way down in terms of its power and battery level, you should try to keep your phone’s charge in the middle range, about fifty to seventy percent or so. Another misconception is that phones should be charged to one hundred percent capacity every time they’re put in a charger, though this can also result in battery harm.
General Rules of Thumb
As a phone charges, it heats up, and a phone which chargers for too long can actually heat the battery in a subtle way, causing harm because of the heat given off at a constant clip. One of the most persistent and completely false myths is that batteries will lose capacity and become degraded when a phone is charged frequently, even if it hasn’t dipped below twenty percent battery.
This is absolutely false, as charging a battery more frequently will actually cause your battery to stay in better shape for longer. Your battery wants to be at about mid power, as that’s the healthiest and most reliable range for phone batteries and batteries in other mobile and electronic devices.
These myths are so persistent because they actually used to be true; when phones and other electronic devices were fit with nickel-based batteries, people had to be careful to wait until one percent and charge all the way back up to one hundred percent, otherwise the nickel-based battery would “forget” where its maximum charge was and would lose life every time it was recharged.
The Modern Battery
Lithium-ion batteries are different however and will degrade if taken below twenty percent or charged all the way back up to one hundred percent frequently. This degradation will be subtle and shouldn’t be a problem for years down the road, but frequently charging your battery this will add up and eventually your battery will die months, if not a year or two, earlier than it should have. In addition, your battery is actually degrading perpetually, as a number of internal processes degrade the lithium-ion battery.
If you change your phone too deeply or use it frequently and drain the battery constantly, it will degrade in a faster manner. There’s no set point at which you should stop charging your battery, but you should know that the deeper you charge it – that is, the longer you have it in the charger during a recharge – the more the battery will degrade and the quicker the life will drain from the battery.
Keep Your Battery Healthy
There are many facts and facets of battery life for mobile and electronic devices that most of the general public typically doesn’t know. Many don’t think twice about the battery in their phones and other services, but this can cause some havoc down the road as devices stop working far earlier than they should. Knowing that you should charge your phone frequently and keep it somewhere around the middle of its charge will help you keep your battery for longer and keep your phone healthier as you use it for years down the road.
Of course, it’s impossible and extremely impractical to keep your battery life at mid-charge for most days. However, this is simply when your battery will be functioning optimally, you can charge your phone however you like and however works for you during the day; just keep in mind that frequent charges, which keep your phone around mid-level in terms of power, will work best for battery life and save you money in the long run.
A Rare Exception
Occasionally, the battery in your phone will act irrationally. When this happens, you should absolutely do a full discharge (let your phone’s battery drain all the way down) followed by a full recharge, taking your phone all the way back up to one hundred percent.
You should only do this when one of two events happen; either you phone will stay unusually long at one percentage, say fifty percent, before dropping down to a different percentage, like thirty percent, or your battery will shut off even though there’s still battery life left, at least four or five percent.
When either of these things happen, you should do a full discharge followed by a full recharge, just to ensure there’s nothing seriously wrong with your battery. Doing this lets the smart chip in the phone, which reads the battery percentage, recalibrate, giving you a more accurate reading of what level your battery is sitting at.
The Bottom Line
Keeping an eye on your battery and its life is a great way to preserve your battery for longer and avoid costly repairs down the road. You can charge your phone multiple times per day and should actually try to do so whenever possible. Charging your phone multiple times will keep your battery at mid-level, which is actually where a lithium-ion battery wants to be. Be sure not to take your battery all the way down to zero percent and also avoid overcharging it, unless a rare exception rises.